Advice » Career Development» Getting Promoted » How Do I Get into Management?
How Do I Get into Management?

How Do I Get into Management?

MONSTER MEMBER MARILYN ASKS: I am a hard worker with my eye on the grand prize: A promotion into management within the next year. I graduated from college two years ago with a great GPA and two good internships under my belt, and I was hired right away into a midsize consumer products firm. When I was first hired, my new employer made lots of noise about what a high-potential employee I was, but now it seems I'm getting treated like everyone else, rotating through assignments and not getting pushed forward at all.

I have a plan and a timeline in my head, and it seems like these folks don't share it. My performance reviews have been very positive, but no one has initiated a conversation about what my own career goals are. I'm wondering if I should look somewhere else, ask the person who hired me what's going on or just sit tight and wait. I'd appreciate any advice you can give me, because I don't want to make a wrong move here. It's just that I had planned on being a star, and it doesn't seem to be turning out that way.

WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS: You're certainly correct in wanting to play this one carefully, because your potential to be a persuasive, effective manager is on the line each time you communicate "up" at work. Your situation is doubly tricky, because you're a woman in a corporate environment that still doesn't have its head on straight about ambitious females. Trying too aggressively to move ahead in this situation could well get you dismissed as hard-to-manage, while remaining too quiet will render you invisible.

Why didn't you raise this question during your performance review? That's the natural time to discuss your next career step. I wouldn't take any of the choices you listed in your question. Instead, I'd suggest talking to the supervisor who did your performance review about a follow-up "career development" discussion. The tone here will be essential: Not meek, not cranky, just straightforward and logical. The approach should be something like, "I've been thinking about my last performance review and the next one coming up in X months, and I'd like to talk about what you think I might be doing to position myself as a future leader with this organization."

Let me suggest, though, that you must understand the difference between academic and managerial success. Robert Joss, dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, addressed the question of how quickly smart young people should expect to be promoted at a leadership seminar at Stanford. He warned against moving too quickly and missing important steps along the way. He further reminded the Stanford MBA students that managerial acumen is achieved through practice and experiences that help them learn how to inspire and control -- two skills that can't be mastered through books.

Joss also recommended a book you might find helpful. The Leadership Pipeline by Ram Charan advises high-potential young people and their supervisors alike to eschew the star system in favor of good solid training that takes some time. Joss says, "Leadership is a performing art, just like diving or singing, and the instrument is you. It takes lots of practice, and it takes considerable self-knowledge and self-management."

So, Marilyn, I'd say you and the people in your company who are charged with helping you develop your career need to have some conversations about how you can get the experience you need. Think less about titles now and more about getting broad experience making things happen, and you'll be on your way to earning the leadership roles you covet.

Additional Articles in This Feature

Latest Jobs

St Jude Children's Research Hospital
Posted: 05/29/2015
Memphis, TN
St Jude Children's Research Hospital
Posted: 05/29/2015
Memphis, TN
Posted: 05/29/2015
West Bloomfield Township, MI
Posted: 05/29/2015
E Walpole, MA, 02032
Blood Systems Incorporated
Posted: 05/29/2015
Scottsdale, AZ, 85250

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-201